Cape Gazette
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SEA TO SHINING SEA: Riding Indiana's back roads

By Dennis Forney | Jul 17, 2013
Photo by: Dennis Forney I always tell service people how much I appreciate their efforts on behalf of our freedom and  I always tell road workers how much I appreciate their keeping the surfaces in good shape. These guys were filling potholes on 1200 N today in Indiana. "We do as well as we can but there's only so much you can do with 15 people trying to take care of 800 miles of road in this county," one of them told me. "It always comes down to allocation of finite resources," I said.  They agreed. Great conversations along the road.  So many good people!

RICHMOND, INDIANA — DAY 65 - July 17, 2013 - We hit the road early this morning while the soybeans were still wet with dew.  Traffic is light at 0630 and the sun hasn't had a chance to get its full game on.  We rode a trail out of Greenfield, switched over to Route 40 for a while and then slipped over to some of Indiana's thousands of miles of rural roads.  No traffic.  Nothing but farmhouses and fields of alfalfa, corn and soybeans They might as well be a system of bicycle trails.  No one was on them but us.  Occasionally they devolved to gravel, but not much.  For the most part nice easy rolling riding.

By 10:30 a.m. we had 35 miles logged and stopped at Cambridge City for a late breakfast at Lumpy's.  Then on to Richmond here on the eastern edge of Indiana and home to Earlham College.

We finished riding when we hit the 55-mile mark.  Too hot for much more. Tomorrow we'll be out again early to beat the heat as we head into Ohio and the bicycling hub of the midwest: Xenia. Lots of trails tomorrow and I'll be thinking of my Ohio friends of many years ago - and during a different dimension.  B and Caesar, MP and Noodie and Luther and Gary.  Imperial quarts of Iron City and good hippie conversation on the porch of a white clapboard house in downtown Oberlin.

They had an FAA control station in Oberlin and I remember one day looking up and seeing the largest airplane I had ever seen in my life coming over town. It was one of the first C-5s and the pilots were giving the guys in the FAA station a close look.  Since the main fleet of the Air Force's Globemasters have been stationed at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. I couldn't believe anything that big could stay in the air. It was probably going about 150 mph but it seemed like it was just floating. That was about 1971.

That impressed me almost as much as the icy cold quarts of beer that MP kept in her refrigerator. There's something very civilized about ice-cold quarts of beer in the fridge.  Maybe I'll just have one more glass.

It will be fun to be back in Ohio.

Stay cool and thanks for riding along. Total miles as of today: 2,567.

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We stopped at the US Post Office in Richmond, Indiana and sent home a box filled with colder-weather and other items we won't need for the rest of this trip. Engraved in the front of the 1973 building was Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States.  That caught my attention.  What a tragic figure in US political history.
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